Even before Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado arrived at Guaranteed Rate Field, he knew what to expect.
Machado surrounded by 20 reporters in Chicago today. Cubs & White Sox are potential free agent suitors. He’ll get a similar reception in Philly.
The Manny version of a “farewell” tour? pic.twitter.com/IIOUJnkrXn
— Mark Viviano (@MarkWJZ) May 22, 2018
With both the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs mentioned as fits for this summer’s most desirable trade candidate, he was surrounded by media members covering both teams. They relentlessly pestered him about his future in Baltimore and the seemingly never-ending rumors of a potential trade.
Machado answered a variety of questions from the various reporters surrounding him on Monday. He made sure to stay with the same message for everyone: He is staying grounded by focusing on what he can control — playing baseball and trying to win games.
“Play baseball — that’s what I’m here to do,” Machado said, via MLB.com.“Go play baseball, win some games…at the end of the day, that’s all that counts.”
The 25-year-old is certainly doing everything within his own power to help Baltimore win games this season. He is tied for the MLB lead in home runs (15), ranks third in batting average (.343) and leads the majors in RBIs (43).
Yet despite Machado’s efforts to carry Baltimore this season, the team owns the third-worst record in baseball at 15-32. Though Machado certainly delivered on his words in the opener against the White Sox. He hit his 15th home run of the season, a solo home run that would prove to be the difference in Baltimore’s 3-2 win.
There’s no telling how much longer Machado will play for the Orioles. He also hasn’t heard the end of these questions, which focus on how he handles the rumors and what he thinks about his future.
It’s the nature of the business, and one he will certainly accept given the numbers he is putting up in his final year before he hits free agency. Soon enough, he will get to decide his long-term future.